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17-20-8 AM 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, The Flesh Ruins Peace At Home

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Notes & Transcripts | Handout

Hook

Introduction

Our series is CeaseFire: Seven Habits to Make Your Home a Place of Peace.
We want peace in our homes, but we have a hard time getting there. We want to be able to work through challenges in a peaceful and loving way, but it always seems to breakdown into bickering, quarreling, and fighting.
Parents, do you find that at the end of the day, you are not exactly the people you want to be when it comes to relating with your kids or spouse? Do you find your fuse is too short. You react harshly with the little ones. You bark orders. Maybe you spank to quickly? Don’t you hate to see the look of fear in their eyes when you portray yourself as big and threatening if they don’t do what you want?
Wouldn’t it be nice to find a more peaceful and loving way to work through the challenges?
So many of our quarrels are the result of pride, different expectations and agendas.
Because of this, you may live with regular frustration and fear.
But God can help. We are looking at His passages, principles, and practices which will improve your families ability to live in peace. It may not be perfect, but it can be better.
Last week we simply affirmed that you and God want the same thing for your family- peace. You are on God’s side of things if you work for peace.

Book

The Passage

1 Corinthians 3:1–4 ESV
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
1 Corinthians 3:1–3 ESV
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
1 Corinthians

The Context

This passage is in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians which is in the Bible.
Here’s the back story:
Remember, Paul was a missionary who spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Roman empire.
The Bible reports he went on three missionary journeys around the Mediterranean sea.
On Paul’s 2nd trip, he ended up in a town in Greece named Corinth. Paul presented the gospel and many people believed in Jesus and were saved.
Paul took these new believers and formed them into a church. Then Paul spent 18 months teaching these Christians the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus Christ. He did this as a bi-vocational pastor. He was a tent-maker in fact.
The time came when Paul had to leave and return to Judea and Antioch (Acts 18:22).
After this furlough, he began his third missionary journey. During this trip he stayed as a pastor in Ephesus for three years.
From Ephesus, Paul engaged the church in Corinth with letters.
Attempting to shepherd them from afar, he wrote them a letter which we do not know much about, only that it taught them to stay away from people who called themselves Christians but live sexually immoral lives. ()
Later, Paul received a spoken report that the church in Corinth was really struggling to be healthy. The church was full of infighting.
1 Corinthians 1:10–13 ESV
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Most relevant to our talk today, the church was full of fighting. There were social snobbery and divisions in the church.
Then Paul received a letter from the Corinthians with questions that revealed their deep confusion about life and theology.
Then Paul received a letter from the Corinthians with questions that revealed their confusion about the theology behind marriage, divorce, idolatry, worship, and the resurrection of the body.
Paul writes 1 Corinthians to help them understand Jesus’ teaching, but also to help them drop the infighting and bickering.
1 Corinthians 1:10–13 ESV
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
The Corinthian church was mess! They fought about many things.
The Corinthian church was mess! Most of our families can relate. Just like Paul didn’t give up on the Corinthians because they had problems, God doesn’t give up on our families because we do.
Some of the Corinthians like Paul, others Apollos, others, Peter, others Christ, and still others followed Paul’s rival pastors from the East.
One of the main things they bickered about was which Christian leader was their favorite. Some liked Paul, others Apollos, others, (Cephas) Peter, others Christ, and still others followed Paul’s rival pastors from the East. This was one way the Christians at Corinth divided themselves into factions and opposed each other.
We find out Corinth was not a health church family. They fought a lot like many of our familes do.
Our families do the same thing. Family members form factions with their own wants and agendas. Dad wants this, but mom wants this. The parents want this but junior expects that. Then, like the Corinthians, we fight with one another for what we want, or just to prove we are right.
Most of our families can relate. Just like Paul didn’t give up on the Corinthians because they had problems, God doesn’t give up on our families because we do.
Before we dive into the “Why” behind our fighting, I want to give some hope. Even though the Corinthians were a mess, God didn’t give up on them. Instead, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians proves God’s earnest desire to reform them. These words are meant to lead them to peace.
Most of our families can relate. Just like Paul didn’t give up on the Corinthians because they had problems, God doesn’t give up on our families because we do.
Likewise, God doesn’t give up on our families even though we are quite ugly to one another. Instead, like the church in Corinth, God wants to see our families reformed. Hopefully, His words to the Corinthians will help us to find peace at home.

The Text

In this passage, Paul explains to them why they fight so much. You’ll want to listen to this because it also answers why our families fight and bicker.
Some of the Corinthians like Paul, others Apollos, others, Peter, others Christ, and still others followed Paul’s rival pastors from the East.
In this passage, Paul explains to them why they fight so much. You’ll want to listen to this because it also answers why our families fight and bicker.
1 Corinthians 3:1 ESV
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.
According to Paul,
Fighting in the home is the result of
People fight because they are of the flesh rather than of the Spirit.
People quarrel because they are of the flesh rather than of the Spirit.
Let’s break this down. What does this mean?
Fighting in the home is the result of
First, let’s talk about what it means to be of the Spirit.
In chapter 2, Paul explains that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and He knows the depths of God’s character.
In chapter 2, Paul explains that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and He knows the depths of God’s character. Look at the second part of v. 10.
1 Corinthians 2:10 ESV
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
1 Corinthians 2:
The Spirit of God is deeply in tune with God’s heart. Therefore, He is aligned with God’s chief characteristic of peace and reconciliation.
As the Christian receives the Holy Spirit upon salvation, he or she also receives the ability to know God.
1 Corinthians 2:12 ESV
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
Look now at the first part of 2:10.
1 Corinthians 2:10 ESV
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
The “things” referred to in each of these verse are understanding of His wisdom, His attributes, and His ways. Pertaining to today’s topic, it also refers to knowledge and love for the peace of God.
If a person is spiritually mature, he or she will foster the knowledge of God’s peace and live by it.
In this way, the spiritual person is the one who understands God’s peace and lives by it.
Through this process, we can see
1 Corinthians 2:13 ESV
13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:12 ESV
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
Now let’s look at the first two verses of our passage.
In chapter 2, Paul also explains that those who are saved through faith in Jesus Christ have received the Spirit of God within them.
1 Corinthians 3:1–2 ESV
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
Paul acknowledges he is speaking with born-again believers as he uses the term “brothers.”
Then he alludes that they have not been living as the spiritual people God intended to be. So we know they are regenerate, and they have the Spirit of God living in them, but they have not embraced the “things” of God stated in chapter two, namely His peace.
Paul explains that they are people of the flesh.
This means that even though they are new creations () and the old has passed away and the new has come, they are embracing the desires and wants of the flesh that imprisoned them before they were saved.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We can make a few statements about the Christians’s condition here:
First, through initial faith in Jesus Christ, several things happen concurrently. 1. We are forgiven of our sins; we are given the Holy Spirit to live within us, who empowers us to live the Christian life;
2. we are brought to life spiritually (regenerated; made into a new creation); we have a changed in status before God (adopted children);
3. at that instant of faith, we have received a portion of a spiritual inheritance (eternal life, spiritual blessings embodied by God, a place in God’s eternal house);
4. these things are held in escrow for us in heaven, until we take possession of this inheritance later ().
Second, in the mean time, we have to wrestle with earthly struggles. For example, our sinful nature (the old man, the flesh) is defeated and we are dead to it, however it is not yet destroyed. It still lurks about, tempting us with its desires.
they embraces
Third,
Fourth, God’s will is that we would be sanctified (). We fulfill our purpose on earth and we glorify God when we walk in the Spirit.
In life, they look virtually indistinguishable from unbelievers who are spiritually dead.
We have a choice as to whether we will embrace the flesh or the Holy Spirit every day.
Free will plays a critical role in this. The more we embrace one or the other, the more our lives will be characterized by it. God’s will is that we would be sanctified () through embracing the Spirit. God is glorified when we do this.
Second, Christians who continue to be worldly are virtually indistinguishable from unbelievers who are spiritually dead. Therefore, Christians should not be in the habit of trying to determine if a person is saved or not, because lost people and carnal Christians look a like.
Fourth, Christians who embrace the flesh are virtually indistinguishable from unbelievers who are spiritually dead. Therefore, Christians should not be in the habit of trying to determine if a person is saved or not, because lost people and carnal Christians look a lot alike.
Fourth, Christians who continue to be worldly are virtually indistinguishable from unbelievers who are spiritually dead. Therefore, Christians should not be in the habit of trying to determine if a person is saved or not, because lost people and carnal Christians look a lot alike.
Paul continues to describe the Corinthians, who are worldly Christians.
This is good time to make a statement against us trying to determine if a person is saved or not, because lost people and carnal Christians
Paul continues to describe the Corinthians, who are worldly Christians.
1 Corinthians 3:1–2 ESV
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
He says that they are still infants in the faith. This is not a good thing
He says that they are still infants in the faith.
This is not a good thing. Learning to imitate Christ is a process in our lives in which things are built on one another. Young Christians may not know very much about God’s word. This can lead them to unintentionally be more worldly because they do not understand that what they were doing is wrong or is unhelpful. They are babes who are still on milk.
1 Corinthians b) The Gospel as Divine Wisdom (2:6–3:4)

There the term refers to elementary teaching. Grosheide sees it as “aimed especially at calling souls to surrender themselves to God; in other words: missionary preaching.”

However, as a Christians grows, they can grasp more and more understanding about God from His word. Christians can handle deeper concepts.
This is meat.
1 Corinthians b) The Gospel as Divine Wisdom (2:6–3:4)

He sees meat as “the symbol of a preaching to convinced Christians in which it is possible to unfold the full richness, the magnificence of the gospel.” Paul

This is meat.
As they understand this solid food, they are more inclined to leave behind worldly things in favor of God’s greater presence.
As they understand this solid food, they are more inclined to leave behind worldly things in favor of God’s greater presence.
He says that they are still infants in the faith. This is not a good thing
However, as a Christian grows, he or she grasps more and more about God from His word. Christians can handle deeper concepts. As they understand this solid food, they are more inclined to leave behind worldly things in favor of God’s greater presence.
1 Corinthians b) The Gospel as Divine Wisdom (2:6–3:4)

He sees meat as “the symbol of a preaching to convinced Christians in which it is possible to unfold the full richness, the magnificence of the gospel.”

As Christians grow, they become less worldly.
Therefore, as Christians grow, they become less worldly.
Paul wishes the Corinthians were spiritually mature, adults in Christ.
Paul wishes they were spiritually, adults in Christ.
So does this mean I get to be saved from the devil and still live like Him. What a stupid thing to say.
Our passage also describes such a person as spiritual mature, adults in Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:12 ESV
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
1 Corinthians 2
Our passage also describes such a person as spiritual mature, adults in Christ.
In the last verses,
In this way, the spiritual person is the one who understands God’s peace and lives by it.
Our passage also describes such a person as spiritual mature, adults in Christ.
In the last verses,
1 Corinthians 3:3–4 ESV
3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
Paul explains that jealousy and strife, bickering and quarreling, are sure signs that a person, or a family, is operating by the flesh.
While he is not saying they are unregenerate, he calls their ways human ways, which alludes to a way which is spiritually dead and depraved.
Galatians 5:19–20 ESV
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
Galatians 5:19 ESV
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Consider yourself. Are you mature or immature in Christ. Do you still have to drink milk or do you eat meat. According to Paul, the way you get along with your family will reveal your spiritual maturity.
Do any of these characteristics in the second portion of v. 20 show up in your home? We all have room to grow do we not?

Look & Took

Applying it at Home

People quarrel because they are of the flesh rather than of the Spirit.
The warring at home is the result of the flesh feeding its appetite and rolling over others in order to get what it wants.
Let’s pull this back to our homes.
The flesh ruins peace at home.
Let’s pull this back to our homes.
The warring at home is the result of the flesh feeding its appetite and rolling over others in order to get what it wants.
The flesh is willing to sever relationships in order to be satisfied.
It is responsible for the destruction of families and for the basic spiritual separation between God and man.
So what are you going to do?
First, you should celebrate that now you understand who the enemy is.
Your enemy is not your mom or dad. It is not your brother or sister. It is not your adult child who is estranged from you. The enemy is not you. The enemy is the flesh. This is what causes problems. This causes us to act selfishly.
Everyone is born into the flesh. Have you ever noticed that you don’t have to teach children to fight with one another? It is the flesh in them coming of age.
The fact that you understand this is a gift from God by His Spirit.
Most people can’t understand this. The popular line is that everyone is naturally good. Paul’s understanding of the natural person is that we are wicked.
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians
You should worship God for making this known to you.
Second, be compassionate toward your household of sinners.
First, for your family members who don’t yet know the Lord, remember that lost people can’t help but sin. They don’t have what they need to be righteous.
When Jesus looked at unredeemed Israel, He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Remember, it was for God’s love of the world that He sent His only begotten Son. So we should have compassion.
Second, we should have compassion on family members who are saved, but live in the flesh. We all get entangled in it every now and then as Christians. Compassion gets us a lot further with one another than judgment.
Your family may draw out strong emotion from you, but you must love them unconditionally. Really, a family needs to have compassion on one another.
Third, you need to realize that if the law of Moses failed to bring peace to Israel, the law in your home alone is not going to bring peace to your home.
Third, realize that trying to get peace between worldly people will never last for long, no matter how many rules you put in place.
The Mosaic law couldn’t make men righteous in the OT, your house rules will not make family members people of peace in your home.
Paul Tripp, Parenting
Rules, discipline, and parental negotiation don’t change the underlying problem. He explains that the flesh resists the law, and the law is unable to overcome the flesh.
You’ve got to address the flesh in your family.
Fourth, be saved. Every member of your home needs to be saved by Christ if there is going to be peace.
Romans 6:6–7 ESV
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Romans 6:1–7 ESV
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Romans 6:6-
When we are saved, we are released from bondage to the flesh. It moves from being a ruler over us to only an influencer. Some day it will be gone in total.
When we are saved, we are released from bondage to the flesh. It moves from being a ruler over us to only an influencer. Some day it will be gone in total.
Fifth, repent and be revived. Every member of our family must learn to walk by the Spirit if there is going to be peace.
As we mature in Christ, we learn to work through problems with one another in peaceful ways. We learn to look to the needs of others before our own. We learn to be compassionate and humble before others.
Paul also says in Romans,
Romans 6:12–14 ESV
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:
I pray for a revival among us that we would abandon worldly things and exchange them for more of God. That we would learn the spiritual disciplines by which we grow in the Spirit of God.
That we would be mature in Christ. Living by the fruit of His Spirit.
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Such a person is so in tune with Christ that he or she grasps that peace and unity in the church, and in our homes, is of top priority.
Such a person is so in tune with Christ that he or she grasps that peace and unity in the church, and in our homes, is of top priority.
When we fight, it means we are not living in the Spirit of God. Instead, we are living by the flesh.
The people who lived in the flesh may have been natural men who had not yet been saved and therefore did not have the Holy Spirit in the first place. In Paul’s view they were brothers in Christ, who had simply not fed the work of the Spirit in their lives.
Fighting in the home is the result of
Being of the flesh instead of the Spirit
Sin raging in our hearts unchecked
Immaturity and incompleteness
Egocentrism instead of Christocentrism
Earthly oriented instead of heavenly oriented. You’re worried about earthly lack instead of heavenly abundance.
Earthly oriented instead of heavenly oriented

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